The Mystery of Creation, Destruction,
and Natural Calamities:
an exposition in light of science and the Qur’an
By S.M. Zakir Hussain (Bangladesh)
(Author’s e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Table of Contents
2. The Theory
2. 1. There was a possibility when there was no space or time. Nothing that is there in the universe existed then. God said ‘Be’ and everything developed through an evolving, natural process (in six Days/phases). Before the beginning of the creation of the visible universe, there was only a planet of water, and God’s concentration was on it.
11: 7. And He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days - and His Throne was upon the water - that He might try you, which of you is best in conduct. Yet if you (O Muhammad) says: Look! you will be raised again after death! those who disbelieve will surely say: This is nothing but mere magic.
Hazrat Ali (May God be pleased with him) described the process of creation in the same way.
He started creation out of nothing – without any prototype, any plan, any experiment and without any restless expectation of the results. He gave everything its definite time, made the variety harmonious, and established the characteristics for everything. Even before creation, He was aware of the tendency, complexity, limitation, and weakness of everything.
Then the Sacred Entity created Eternity and expanded the skies and the layers of air. He caused water to flow in storms of waves and eddies. The waves were so fiercely stormy that one was rolling over another after a clash. Then He added gusts of wind to the waves and created strong cyclones. He commanded the vapory state of the water to fall as raindrops and let the wind take control of the rain. Winds started blowing under the clouds and the water was flowing vehemently on the air.
Then the Almighty made the air stagnant, established its position, and dispersed it everywhere by giving it force. Then He commanded the wind to cause the deep waters to move and to make the current of the sea stronger. As a result the wind fermented the water into a curd-like substance and projected it into the space so forcefully that the front part went back and the back side came forward. This process continued until a huge amount of foam was created on the upper level. Then the Almighty lifted the heap of foam and created with it the seven skies, the lowest level of which is wide and swollen but still and upper level is like a canopy – as if it were an edifice without any pillars or pegs. Then He adorned the upper level with stars and bright meteorites and placed the glowing sun and the bright moon in the covered, moving sky. [Nahz-al-Balagha, the collection of Hazrat ‘Ali’s speeches. translated from Bangla by the author.]
The Bible also says the same thing (from Genesis):
And god said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good: and divided the light form the darkness.
And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
And god said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together un-to one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters good.
And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after is kind: And God saw that it was good.
And the evening and the morning were the third day.
And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light form the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God say that it was good.
And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
And evening and the morning were the fifth day.
And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: God saw that it was good.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of the earth, and every tree, in the which is fruit of a tree yielding seeds; to you it shall be for meat.
And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were sixth day.
The Vishnu Purana, a Scripture the Hindus claim to belong to Hinduism, says roughly the same thing right in the two opening chapters. The gist of the 2nd chapter of the Vishu Purana goes as follows:
Before creation there was pralaya, the Great Nothing. There was no light, nor even any darkness. No expression. No substance. There was only the Purusha, the Unified Self. This is the Brahma, the first Cause of everything there is. And everything was immanent is the nature (Prakriti) of the Brahma.Then He initiated contractions and subsequent expansions. Thus the diversified egos (ahamkara) were created. These created the transcendent sound. Thus the sky was created. This sky was a uniform pattern of sounds, which was covered by the self. Then, what was created is the ability to feel, which created wind, the strong flow. The sky then covered the wind and thus forms were created. Then what was created was light, which was covered by wind. When the wind contracted liquid essence was created. This essence got transformed into water, on which the light rested. From the contraction of water, smell was created, which then created the earth.